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ARTICLE: The Importance of Leadership in Uncertain Times


In extraordinary times like these, people turn to their leaders for guidance and reassurance more than ever before.


Guy M. Beaudin at RHR reports that despite the fact that the Edelman’s Trust Barometer of 2019 shows an increasingly untrusting and pessimistic global population, trust in one’s employer remains the most robust. More employees than ever (76%) say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it, and 71% agree that it’s critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times.


However, not all CEOs and leaders have been prepared to meet this new set of expectations. Here are four key concepts—Inform, Connect, Guide, and Unite—to help you think of your role in leading people during times of uncertainty:


  1. Inform: Amid the struggle with evolving uncertainty and what it means to companies, employees are more open to frequent and ongoing communication efforts. Leaders must acknowledge the downsides and unknowns, anticipate scenarios, and provide tools to help employees deal with these situations, early and frequently. The risk of overcommunicating is far less important than appearing out of touch with the current reality.

  2. Connect: To generate trust with employees, leaders need to acknowledge that they are also affected by the uncertainty in the world around them. This is not a sign of weakness, but rather signals that they are in touch with their own feelings and with others as fellow human beings. Get out of your office, reach out to employees, and encourage everyone to do the same.

  3. Guide: Talking about the long-term visions and strategies of the company will not be effective if people are emotionally recovering from previous disclosures or bracing for more bad news. Give steady guidance, focus on concrete steps all employees can align on, and empower them to be part of the solution within that framework.

  4. Unite: Leaders can unite employees by reinforcing what makes them a unique group, and chief executives can help crystallize these feelings to energize a group toward joint action. Actively dealing with adversity will enhance a sense of togetherness and resilience as a community. Celebrate your business community and emphasize connecting to your industry and customers.

Uncertain times along with the trust people place in their employer presents a unique opportunity to reimagine influence. Those who do so will reap the rewards of a loyal group committed to the success of their company and connected to the world. Read the full article at rhrinternational.com here.

© 2016 by Boylston Strategic Leadership Associates.

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